Neil Armfield AO is Artistic Director of the internationally renowned Company B at Belvoir Street Theatre in Sydney. He has directed for all of Australia's state theatre companies, Opera Australia, The Welsh National Opera, The Bregenz Festival in Austria, Zurich Opera, Canadian Opera, Houston Grand Opera, English National Opera, The Lyric Opera in Chicago and the Royal Opera House, London.
Neil is the recipient of two Doctorates of Letters (University of Sydney and UNSW) and many awards including the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Performing Arts; the Sydney Theatre Critics’ Circle Award for Significant Contribution to Theatre; Best Production at Dublin International Festival of the Arts for Cloudstreet; co-winner of the 1998 Barclay's Award in London for Billy Budd and a record six Dora Mavor Awards including Best Production and Outstanding Direction of a Musical in Canada. He has won many Helpmann, Sydney Theatre and Victorian Green Room Awards, and AFI Awards for his direction of the mini-series Edens Lost, and the screenplay (with Luke Davies) of his film Candy.
Neil's theatrical highlights include Company B’s The Diary of A Madman starring Geoffrey Rush which toured Australia and Russia in 1991, the world tours of Cloudstreet in 1999 and 2001, Casey Bennetto’s musical Keating! which toured nationally for two years and the premier of Michael Gow’s The Toy Symphony. Recently Neil directed Shane Warne the Musical with seasons in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney and Exit the King on Broadway starring Geoffrey Rush. He worked with Opera Australia in October 2009 directing a new production of Peter Grimes and during 2010 conducting the new production of Bliss, which will have its international premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival in September this year.
Neil in conjunction with Company B is dedicated to the development of works of Indigenous theatre: memorable productions include Jack Davis’ No Sugar, John Harding’s Up The Road, Dallas Winmar’s Aliwa!, and Gulpilil.
Neil's film work includes Candy, which he co-wrote and directed. Candy, starring Heath Ledger, Abbie Cornish and Geoffrey Rush, screened in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival and closed the Hong Kong International Film Festival in 2006.
In 2007 Neil was made Officer of the Order of Australia for national and international service to the arts.